April 15, 2013 Tax Day

Last week, I had a picture of the little crocus and tulip plants poking their heads out of the ground. Last Thursday they got covered with 8 to 9 inches of snow and a little more again last night and it will happen again this Wednesday and Thursday. Today, Bryan Karrick, St. Cloud Times meteorologist, said , “It seems we’re overachieving in the snow department this winter.” I agree. Sr. Joel has two large vases of pussy willows in Chapel…so we live in hope that SPRING will get here and stay a while!

Last evening two special guests arrived to spend a week with us here in Little Falls. They are Sisters Margaret and Irene from Kenya. Their Community of the Franciscan Sisters of St. Joseph and our Community have been friends for many years. In our dining room there are a couple nice displays to welcome them.

Saturday evening we had our Spaghetti Supper—a fund raiser for the Music Center and the Health and Recreation Departments. A lot of work goes into an event like this. Terry told me that they make 60 gallons of spaghetti sauce…and put 60 pounds of hamburger in it. They also cook up 70 pounds of spaghetti. They serve 25 loaves of garlic bread and also serve 30+ pans of bars. Many of the bars are made by the Sisters and friends. They also make gluten-free spaghetti sauce, gluten-free spaghetti and meatless spaghetti sauce. We served 383 meals…which is great considering the inclement weather that afternoon and evening.

I was privileged to attend three beautiful concerts over the weekend. Friday evening I attended “A Celtic Celebration” presented by the Legacy Chorale of Greater Minnesota in Brainerd. Special guest Brian Solum, was the Highland Bagpiper. I’ve never before heard a bagpipe playing with an orchestra. It was beautiful. The lyrics for each song were printed in the program. There were about 30 singers and an orchestra of about 8.

On Saturday I attended the final concert of the year of the Heartland Symphony Orchestra at the Charles D. Martin Auditorium. That group of about 50 members makes beautiful music. They played songs from the movies. Such fun to listen to. The Heartland Symphony does three concerts a year in both Brainerd and Little Falls.

Then the third concert was here right at home in Sacred Heart Chapel by the St. Francis Music Center’s two strings orchestras. The Sforzando String Orchestra features many younger strings players. The Con Brio String Orchestra membership is those who have played longer. All players are very talented players. Between the first orchestra and the second orchestra performances, were two numbers featuring Maway Quillo playing the Violoncelli and brother Kori Qillo assisted by Kathy Pederson at the piano. Director, Celo V’ec, certainly knows how to get beautiful music out of the players. A chapel full of listeners braved heavy snow to come for the program. Thank you for a wonderful afternoon.

Our Blood Donors are awesome!!! Our goal was 248 units. Thursday’s weather was terrible with snow and snowy, icy roads. Many Thursday donors came Wednesday. Yet 38 donors braved the weather and came before we had to close down at 11 a.m. We surpassed out goal with 251 units of blood collected in the three day drive. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Sr. Julien said this is the first time in her 12 years of having the blood mobile come here that we’ve had to close early because of the weather. The next drive is ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­June 18th, 19th and 20th.

On April 16, 1209, Pope Innocent III, approved the first Franciscan Rule and the Order received its canonical status. On this date, many Franciscans throughout the world formally renew their commitment to their Franciscan Way of Life. We sisters will renew our vows at Mass on the 16th.

This week, April 15 to 19th, is Severe Weather Awareness Week. We will be having a tornado drill on Thursday morning. Our tunnel is the safest place to be. We need to practice it. Last summer we headed to the tunnel four times. Discuss with your family where you will go in severe weather.

Wednesday’s Dining Adventure will feature the State of New York. I wonder what we will be served?

On Saturday, the Habitat for Humanity fund-raiser, Seeds of Kindness, will hold their special luncheon in St. Francis Hall. I’ll show you pictures of a few of the creative, beautiful tables next week.

Sunday April 21st, is World Day of Prayer for Vocations. Please join us in prayer for an increase of Sister and Priest Vocations… but also pray for those in married and single vocations.

Also, Sunday afternoon at 2 p.m., the Community Chorale will have their spring concert in Sacred Heart Chapel. This is another great feast for the ears.

April 22nd is Earth Day. We will have a special prayer service at 2 p.m. We have to take care of the Earth and treat it good.

Let us pray for all those killed and hurt in the bombing at the Boston Marathon today. What a senseless act. Both victims and perpetrators need our prayers.

Peace and blessings,
Sister Mary Lou

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